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World of Level Design

Tutorials to Becoming the Best Level Designer and Game Environment Artist (since 2008)

Corridor Project created with UE4

Substance Painter: Two Ways to Creating Tiling/Seamless Textures and Export Them (Step-by-Step)

Tiling is a method of repeating a texture horizontally and vertically to cover large geometry surfaces. Tiling textures are ideal for walls, floors, ceilings, landscapes or any continuous large surface. You can create seamless, tiling textures right inside Substance Painter and there are two methods you can use to do so.

I use this all the time (primarily the 2nd option), especially when creating modular assets that need tiling textures...

Let's Texture #2: Decal Stamp Supply Image in - HL2 Inspired (Photoshop)

In this Let's Texture #2 episode, we'll create a decal stamp in Photoshop with rounded corners and transparent background to be used in Substance Painter. I used this image stamp in Let's Texture #1 to apply it to the wooden supply crate.

Let's Texture #1: Wooden Supply Crate - HL2 Inspired (Substance Painter)

Let's Texture Half-Life 2 inspired wooden supply crate using Substance Painter. It is one of the most iconic props to be created for a game.

We'll go through the entire texturing process...

Now Out - "UE5: Retro Office Project" Tutorial Course

"Substance 3D Painter Essentials" tutorial course is now available to download.

It is the complete beginner guide to texturing with Substance 3D Painter for environments and props...

My Current Prototyping Blockout Process for Modular Environment Creation

Ask yourself: "What is the smallest part of the environment I can create with the minimum amount of workable assets to showcase it? Before expanding to the rest of the environment?"

You think you need to create hundreds of assets and different variations of them right from the start. But instead of creating 5 different mesh variations for walls, windows, floors, doors - create just one that works. You can always expand and add variations later. But do just one first.

This is what I’ve been doing when working on modular environment assets. I focus on building a small prototype of one small area using only a handful of modular assets. Then I expand to the rest of the environment.

In this tutorial I will share my current workflow for prototyping blockouts for modular environments...

Tips and Tricks to Using Photoshop Generative Fill to Create Level Design and Environment Art Ideas

Generative Fill is an AI image creation tool in Photoshop that can be put to great use for ideas. It can create additional visual information inside or outside the image.

Find an image: can be a photo, concept art, completed work you've done or even half-finished projects and blockouts. Then run Generative Fill and watch ideas roll in.

In this tutorial you will learn how to use Photoshop's Generative Fill and all the tricks and tips to begin generating more ideas...

Making Of Globe Staircase - Comprehensive Process for Creating Environments Faster (Maya, UE5, Megascans)

You have to allow yourself to experiment with different workflows to create environments faster.

Many projects can be done quicker if you let yourself try things out more while not having to create the "perfect environment" using "perfect workflow".

Instead of creating a modular asset pack then having to texture and construct the environment in UE5. What if I modeled everything in Maya and completed the entire environment? Then exported everything out of Maya into UE5 without having to reconstruct it?

Here is the full comprehensive breakdown on Making of The Globe Staircase...

UE5: Definitive Guide to Using Quixel Bridge to Create, Texture and Detail Your Environments

Quixel Bridge gives you access to completed Megascans assets such as materials, 3d models and MetaHumans to bring into Unreal Engine.

With these you can detail your environments very quickly.

In this in-depth tutorial guide, I'll tell you everything you need to know to begin using Quixel Bridge to create with.

UE5: How to Add and Use Sound Wav and Sound Cues to Create Environment Sounds in Unreal Engine 5

Once you have a Wav file imported into UE5, you need to create a Sound Cue from it to use it.

You can insert both into your level - Sound Wav and Sound Cue. But you will have more power with a Sound Cue.

In this tutorial we'll cover how to use Wav files and create Sound Cues to use in your environments.

UE5: Edit, Convert, Export Custom Sounds from Audacity and Import Them Into UE5

Sound FX is one of the most overlooked and underused aspects of environment design. Yet sound is what makes the entire location come together with atmosphere and mood.

In this tutorial I will show you how to get, edit, export and import custom sounds from Audacity into UE5.

UE5: Complete Guide to Creating and Using LUTs for Color Grading

LUT stands for color lookup table. It is a small image file that contains color information of your scene. You can create and use these LUTs in UE5 within Post Process Volume to change the look and feel of your environment.

Here is everything you need to know how to create and use LUTs in Unreal Engine 5...

UE5: Modeling Mode - Dynamic/Static Mesh Problems and Solutions (Convert, Merge, Duplicate, Split, Export)

Using Dynamic Meshes has its upside: great for blockouts. But also has some downsides such as unable to export as FBX. In this post we'll cover a lot of problems and solutions while working with Dynamic meshes and converting them to Static Meshes.

UE5: How to Use Group/Ungroup to Create Environments Faster

Grouping objects together is a powerful technique that will make you create environments faster in UE5. The way this works is you select a bunch of objects inside your level. Group them. Then next time you select any of the objects within a group, they all get selected. Here is everything you need to know about Grouping/Ungrouping in UE5...

UE5: Placing Static Mesh Props Using Foliage Mode for Faster Environment Creation

Foliage Mode is a great way to quickly populate landscapes with grass, bushes and trees.

But it doesn't have to be just foliage. You can use this mode to place Static Mesh props.

Here is everything you need to know...

UE5: Placing Static Mesh Props Naturally and Randomly with Simulate Physics

Learn to place any Static Mesh into your level naturally and randomly without having to place them manually.

Now Out - "UE5: Retro Office Project" Tutorial Course

Learn to create and light beautiful interior environments from start to finish entirely in UE5 with "UE5 Retro Office Project".

You'll go from an idea to a final environment - one you'll be able to explore and play in.

Best part: the course includes 79 Static Meshes (27 Modular and 52 Props) for you to use to create with...

Complete Guide to Exporting/Importing Environment Static Mesh Geometry from Maya into UE5

3D models in UE5 are called Static Meshes. Nearly all environments use Static Meshes to create levels in UE5; this doesn't include things like landscapes, lighting, atmosphere and particles.

There are two ways to create 3d models for UE5 or UE4:

  • External 3D modeling application such as Maya, Blender, 3DSMax, Modo
  • Modeling Mode right inside UE5

In this in-depth study guide I'll show you 4 different options for exporting your Static Meshes from Maya and import them into UE5...

UE5: 3 Methods for Blocking Out Environments and Level Designs (Includes Best One Using Dynamic Meshes)

Blockouts in UE4 used to be a simple process with BSP Brushes. But with UE5, BSP Brushes are being depreciated (although they are still available to use).

So what should you now use to create blockouts in UE5?

In UE5 you can blockout 3 different ways: BSP Brushes, Modeling Mode, Modular Meshes...

Designing Single Player Combat Areas - Level Design for 3rd Person Shooters Games as Seen in "Alan Wake"

"I am creating a level for a single player, third-person shooter game. I need to design combat/battle areas where the player encounters enemies and fights his way through. How should I approach this? What type of combat design should I incorporate? How should I design the playable space to make combat fun, one doesn't suck or gets boring?"

In single player level design you don't have to worry about timing, balance or choke points as you would in multiplayer level design.

However, you have whole other set of rules to follow...

3 Level Design Horror Principles to Induce Fear into Your Environments and Game as Seen in "Alan Wake"

Jump scare is one of the most commonly used techniques in movies and games designed to scare you. A jump scare where there is an abrupt change of an image often combined with sound.

But you can only use this a few times before it begins to lose its effectiveness. Plus it is often seen as a cheap trick to scare the player.

What you need to do instead is create a tense atmosphere to keep the player engaged, curious yet scared as they explore your game world?

Alan Wake does this well with 3 simple yet effective principles...

How to Effortlessly Guide the Player with Level Design As Seen in "Alan Wake"

Alan Wake takes place in the Pacific Northwest and features outdoor environments with mountains, forests, mining caves and abandoned towns. On top of that, most of the locations you visit are at night.

The challenge comes from designing environments in such a way that effortlessly guide the player to their next destination without them getting lost and frustrated.

In Alan Wake I rarely felt lost. Maybe a few times during combat but I was always able to orient myself back on path.

How does the game guide the player through nighttime forest environments?

Master Class in Level Design Storytelling - 6 Secrets I Learned from Playing "Alan Wake"

Alan Wake 2 is coming in October. So I wanted to replay the original Alan Wake from 13 years ago.

I wanted to learn how Remedy created the single-player, story driven experience and how this influenced its level design.

I walked away with 12-pages of notes.

In this massive post and video breakdown we’ll go deep into storytelling secrets and how Alan Wake crafted its level design to tell a story...

Maya: Quick Tip Tutorials Part 2 (Tips #11-20)

The following quick tips series is created for beginners and experts using Maya. These are quick useful tips to help improve and show techniques you may have not known or forgotten about.

All videos are very short, between 1-5 minutes.

The following Part 2 includes 10 quick tips...

Substance Painter: Making a Simple Trim Texture for Props (Maya/UE5)

Trim sheets are one of the best ways to texture multiple props and environment assets.

In this tutorial I will show you how to create a simple trim texture for props that contains wood and metal using Maya, Substance Painter and UE5.

You can use this method to create any other trim sheet that contains 2 different surface types.

Miami Corner Store - Part 3/3: UVing Everything (Free Maya/UE4 Course)

"Miami Corner Store" was going to be a full step-by-step tutorial course to creating a building environment set in Miami using Maya and UE4. Unfortunately it never got finished. Out of 7 modules, I completed 3. I've decided to release the completed videos to you for free.

Let's get to Part 3/3: Maya UVing.

Part 3 of Miami Corner Store is focused on UVing everything to get it ready for texturing. You'll see the UVing process from unwrapping every single modeled geometry to final UV layout...

Miami Corner Store - Part 2/3: Modeling Everything (Maya/UE4)

"Miami Corner Store" was going to be a full step-by-step tutorial course to creating a building environment set in Miami using Maya and UE4. Unfortunately it never got finished. Out of 7 modules, I completed 3. I've decided to release the completed videos to you for free.

Let's get to Part 2/3: Maya Modeling.

Part 2 of Miami Corner Store is focused on modeling the building and all its details using MayaLT/Maya. You will see the entire modeling process...

Miami Corner Store - Part 1/3: Preproduction and Blockout (Maya/UE4)

"Miami Corner Store" was going to be a full step-by-step tutorial course to creating a building environment set in Miami using Maya and UE4. Unfortunately it never got finished. Out of 7 modules, I completed 3. I’ve decided to release the completed videos to you for free.

Let's get to Part 1/3: Blockout...

Maya: How to Create Spiral Geometry Along the Curve (Works for Wires, Chains and More)

Creating simple wires or cables that follow a curve is simple. You either use Extrude Along the Curve or Sweep Mesh.

But how do you create more complex geometry to follow a curve such as spiral wires or chains?

The answer is to use some of the Maya's animation tools...

Maya: 3-Step Process to UV Unwrap Complex Cylindrical, Curved, Organic Geometry Quickly

3 step method I use to Unwrap organic, cylindrical shapes quickly. Perfect for wires, ropes, cables, organic curved shapes and more...

Maya: Difference Between UV Sew VS Move and Sew VS Stitch Together

There are 3 primary UV sewing methods you will use in Maya. Sew, Move/Sew and Stitch Together. I use them all but there are differences between each...

Maya: How to Properly Use Automatic Unwrap to Quickly UV Your Assets

If you've been UVing in Maya then you already know about Automatic Unwrap. It's a way to UV your assets quickly by running one command.

But most beginners make the mistake of using Automatic Unwrap and calling it done...

Let's Model #5: Office Furniture Props - Wooden Bookshelf, Cabinet, Desk

Let's Model three office furniture props - wooden bookshelf, wooden cabinet and a wooden desk.

Substance Painter: Complete Guide to Download, Import and Use New Materials to Texture With (3 Ways)

Substance Painter comes with a decent amount of starter content materials to use. But there are many material types it doesn't have. You will find yourself wanting to have more.

Here is how to download, import or install and start using new materials in Substance Painter...

Substance Painter: Quick Exercise to Help You Prototype, Experiment and Decide on Materials

Experiment more. Try textures that don't fit into theme of your environment. New ideas reveal themselves you wouldn't think of otherwise.

There are times when you're working on an environment and modeling assets but you haven't figured out how you want to texture them.

Take some time and experiment with this exercise...

Maya: The Complete Guide to Using Sweep Mesh - Techniques and Tricks

Sweep Mesh tool will create a polygonal mesh from a curve in few clicks.

In previous tutorial I showed you how to Extrude Along a Curve but Sweep Mesh tool will do this a lot quicker with a lot more procedural options.

Let's cover Sweep Mesh tool in detail...

Maya: Complete Guide to Extrude Along a Curve Techniques and Tips

Extrude Along a Curve is a modeling technique used to create cables, ropes, wires, tentacles, branches and more.

You draw a curve then you extrude a set of faces to follow that curve to create your polygonal shape.

In this tutorial you will learn how to use Extrude Along a Curve technique and additional tricks and secrets that I haven't seen shared...

UE5: Complete Guide to Player Scale, Environment Dimensions and Creating to Proportions

Number one mistake beginner's make is creating environments that are either too small or too big.

The entire scale of the world and its proportions are off and you can easily tell when you see it.

When you begin working on a new environment, you need to know the player and world geometry dimensions to avoid problems with scale.

In this post you will learn all the dimensions you need for creating to correct scale...

UE5: Crash Course Quick-Start Guide to Begin Using Unreal Engine 5 - TODAY

The biggest frustration with UE5 is the "magnitude" of the engine.

It has so many tools, functions, parameters, editors and plugins. By the time you open the editor and ready to create, you are already overwhelmed by its complexity.

Before you try to create an environment or a game, you need to focus on the essentials of the engine. These include editor's interface, viewport navigation, using different viewport modes, project management, using the Content Browser, working with objects in the editor and creating very simple levels using Starter Content and much more. This is step 1.

This tutorial guide will give you the necessary steps to start using UE5 - TODAY...

Now Out - "UE5: Fundamentals Vol.1" Tutorial Course

Begin your journey with UE5,

Being completely new to UE5, you need to learn the fundamentals - the essentials of the engine.

Do not waste time trying to "mess around with UE5 and figure out how to use it" on your own.

I will teach you Unreal Engine 5 as a complete beginner with zero knowledge of the engine and without any prior experience...

UE5: 11 Principles to Learning and Using UE5 as a Complete Beginner

At first glance, UE5 interface looks simple. But the more you learn, the more you discover a massively complex piece of software.

In this post I will outline how to begin learning UE5 so you have a good foundation to build on. This way you can begin using it rather than being overwhelmed by it.

Here are 11 core principles you need to know about for learning UE5 from scratch...

Maya/UE5: How to Export/Import UE5 Mannequin to Maya for Scale Reference

I'm going to show you how to get UE5 scale Mannequins exported from Unreal Engine and imported into your 3D modeling software.

In my case I will use Maya.  But it will work in other software such as Blender, 3DSMax and others.

UE5: How to Add Additional Game Templates Into Existing Projects to Prototype in Third or First Person

In this tutorial I'm going to show you how to add an additional Game Templates into an existing project.  I do this to all of my projects because I want to have the ability to prototype and playtest in either Third Person or First Person game mode.

Let's Model #4: Metal Folding Chair Prop

Let's model a metal folding chair prop. Perfect for set dressing a cafeteria or a break room environment.

Let's Model #3: Modular Sci-Fi Doorway and Door (Maya Modeling for UE5)

Let's model a modular sci-fi doorway with a door that can be opened or closed.

Let's Model #2: Low-Poly Modular Sci-Fi Wall with Rounded Windows (Maya Modeling)

Let's model Half-Life 2 inspired wooden supply crate. One of the most iconic props to have been created for a game.

Let's Model #1: Wooden Supply Crate - HL2 Inspired (Maya Modeling for UE5)

Let's model Half-Life 2 inspired wooden supply crate. One of the most iconic props to have been created for a game.

In-Depth Overview: How to Batch Export Using Maya Game Exporter for UE5/UE4

Exporting large number of Static Meshes is tedious and time-consuming, especially when you are working with a lot of modular meshes. Too much time is spent on exporting such as moving objects to World Origin, renaming, moving them back, then repeating the steps for the rest of the models.

But there is a much easier way,

Maya Game Exporter can automate the export process for you. If you haven't used Maya Game Exporter, after this tutorial you will especially for a large set of modular meshes...


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Subscribe and Get Free UE5 PDF Guide

Visit this page for more info about the guide...

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About World of Level Design

My name is AlexG. I am self-taught level designer, game environment artist and the creator of World of Level Design.com. I've learned everything I know from personal experimentation and decades of being around various online communities of fellow environment artist and level designers. On World of Level Design you will find tutorials to make you become the best level designer and game environment artist.

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